Chicken Kebabs and Lemon Rice

Chicken Kebabs and Lemon Rice

Father’s Day is this coming weekend and I thought it would be appropriate to post a recipe with some meat and grilling. Seasonal recipes chockfull of fresh vegetables are all nice and dandy, but sometimes you just need meat. I suppose it could’ve been even better if it was red meat, but we eat very little red meat at home. However, this particular recipe was made for my son’s birthday bbq and we did have burgers and hotdogs too that day.

His birthday party was a couple of weeks ago, and he invited his little friends to play in the nearby park and enjoy a bbq. It rained…the entire time. But kids don’t care. They played in the rain, ate hot dogs, burgers and cake.

This is the cake I made for his birthday. I may post the recipe/tutorial, but only if I get enough searches for “Spiderman Cake” πŸ™‚

Spiderman Cake

The kids thoroughly enjoyed the cake and the food. I really enjoyed my two favourite things, these chicken kebabs and lemon rice. This should really be two separate posts but I wanted you to have the lemon rice recipe incase you make the chicken kebabs and want a side dish to go alongside. This lemon rice pairs perfectly with the chicken. It can be eaten at room temperature and so, makes an excellent dish for a bbq.

Lemon Rice

The lemon rice is known as pulihora in India and can also be made with tamarind. It’s quite a popular dish originating from the south of India and is known under a couple of different names. Β As with any dish, there are different ways of making it with many different additions, but I usually keep the seasonings and additions quite simple letting the lemon be the star.

Lemon Rice

The chicken kebabs are tandoori spiced but without the horrid red food colouring. I think they look far better with the vibrant, natural colour of the turmeric. The chicken will need a marinade but not an overnight one it only needs to be in the marinade for 6 hours, so plan accordingly.

I have used chicken breasts, one fillet per person making about 2 skewers. If your chicken pieces are larger, you may get more. Chicken thighs can be used also. But, I’m happy to say, actually, I’m overjoyed to say, that these were incredibly moist, even when reheated the next day.

Lemon Rice and Chicken Kebab-2

Don’t over cook them on the grill. We started them on a hot grill (we used our gas this time) and let them sear all round. Then we pulled them off the hot side onto a low flame to finish cooking. You can baste with butter if you want, I just basted them when they came off the grill, but I have done it during grilling too at other times. If you’re afraid they are drying out, you can cover with a piece of foil to keep the moisture evaporating from the top. Just keep turning and feel the chicken with your fingers (without burning yourself) to see if the chicken is firming up. They will take about 15-20 minutes, maybe longer if your pieces are large. I made ours medium size, big enough to stay juicy but small enough to cook in a fairly short time. I also made sure to keep same size pieces together opting to place all the small pieces that come off the end of the breast on a couple of skewers by themselves.

Chicken Kebabs

They were delicious! Perfectly cooked and incredibly juicy. I have to say, we never have success with juicy kebabs and this time we were thrilled to have them turn out so perfectly. We served them alongside the lemon rice and a red cabbage and pear slaw, which was pretty awesome too.

Lemon Rice and Chicken Kebab-1

Hope you think about treating Dad with this delicious meal. I’m sure he’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

Chicken Kebabs and Lemon Rice

Serves: 6-8 servings

Serving size: 1 cup/2 skewers

Moist and juicy tandoori chicken kebabs with tangy, lemon rice.
Chicken Kebabs
  • 6 chicken breasts, medium cubes
  • Β½ cup yoghurt, plain regular or Greek
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream/milk
  • Β½-1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 bell peppers, any colour, large cubes
  • 1 red onion, in chunks
  • ΒΌ cup oil for drizzling
  • Butter for basting, melted
  • 12-14 wooden skewers, soaked in water
Lemon Rice
  • 6 cups cold, leftover rice
  • ΒΌ cup oil
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 1Β½ teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 2 green chillies, split in half
  • 1½ teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Β½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup cashews, raw
  • fresh mint or cilantro
Chicken Kebabs
  1. Place the chicken cubes in a glass bowl.
  2. Add everything for the marinade: yoghurt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, coriander, cayenne powder, lemon juice and heavy cream.
  3. Mix thoroughly with the chicken and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 6.
  4. When ready to cook, salt the chicken.
  5. Thread the chicken onto the skewers alternating with the peppers and onions.
  6. I used about 5 pieces of chicken on a skewer.
  7. You may use less if your pieces are big or more if they are small.
  8. Don't leave too much space between them but don't pack too tightly either.
  9. Allowing them to touch will ensure a juicer kebab.
  10. Repeat until all the chicken is threaded.
  11. Heat your grill to 400-450 degrees.
  12. Grease the grates.
  13. Drizzle the oil over the chicken kebabs and place the chicken kebabs on the hot part of the grill.
  14. Let sear all around.
  15. Don't force the chicken off, when its ready, it will release and you can turn them around to sear all sides.
  16. Once the chicken is browned on all sides, move the chicken to a lower temperature and let it finish cooking.
  17. Use some foil to tent if the you feel the chicken is drying out, you can also baste with some melted butter.
  18. The chicken will take about 15-20 minutes for medium size pieces.
  19. Pull off the grill and serve hot.
Lemon Rice
  1. In a large fry pan or skillet, heat the oil on medium high heat and add the raw cashews.
  2. Fry till the cashews are golden brown.
  3. Pull the cashews out and put aside.
  4. To the hot oil, add the mustard seeds.
  5. Allow the seeds to begin popping, add the curry leaves and the split green chillies.
  6. Careful when adding the curry leaves, they splutter, have a lid handy to cover.
  7. Add the cold rice and start to mix thoroughly.
  8. Add the turmeric and ground cumin.
  9. Fry the rice until hot and mixed through with the spices.
  10. Add the lemon juice and check for salt.
  11. Adjust lemon juice and salt to taste.
  12. I like lots of lemon in my rice so I use a lot.
  13. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  14. Cook a minute longer and pull off the heat.
  15. Add half of the cashews and mix through.
  16. Sprinkle the rest on the top before serving along with some chopped mint or cilantro.

Lemon Rice

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all the wonderful fathers, fathers in laws, step fathers and grand fathers a very happy Father’s Day. May you enjoy a special day surrounded by your loved ones.

Hope you’re all having a great week so far, anybody watching the World Cup this week? I’m excited to see England play on Saturday πŸ™‚

  1. This looks absolutely wonderful! I love that you use your own spices for marinating; I’ve been searching for Chicken Tikka recipes that don’t use Tandoori Masala and it really looks like you’ve hit the nail in the head with this one. Can’t wait to try it as soon as I’m back iA! πŸ™‚
    Henna recently posted..Browned Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

  2. Wow, lucky, lucky little guy (except for the rain) to get a b-day party with that AMAZING Spiderman cake, plus a meal that includes these gorgeous kebabs and rice! So perfect for Father’s Day, too! And I’m impressed that it rewarms so well … I feel like the (shockingly reddish!) tandoori chicken we typically get at Indian restaurants doesn’t reheat all that well – it’s too dried out – so that’s a huge bonus! πŸ˜€
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens recently posted..Easy Grilled Polenta with Fresh Mozzarella and Balsamic TomatoesMy Profile

  3. I am getting the idea that you are finally beginning to feel better my friend, and I am so glad for it πŸ™‚
    This meal looks amazing, the kebabs are obviously so succulent! And lemon rice is a personal favourite πŸ˜€
    And please, yes, put up the spiderman cake!!

    Choc Chip Uru
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  4. What a great combination! I love rice and lemon. It is a match made in heaven! Your cake is wonderful! I’m sure the search engine will go crazy. πŸ˜‰

  5. Love the pictures with the red cabbage — its color works so well with the yellow rice. These are two great recipes, each with a lot of flavor. Definitely the kind of food I like. But we do need that cake recipe! πŸ˜‰ Really nice post — thanks.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Chipotle Cherry SalsaMy Profile

  6. There’s so much to love about this post, Nazneen. First off,. I love chicken with lemon, whether it flavors the chicken or a pasta side dish, a chicken and lemon combo is a sure winner. Now, I’ve not make a lemon-rice dish and it sounds really good. Love the color and I’d serve it in the winter just to bring a little bit of sunshine to the table. On a cold overcast evening, something bright on the plate is a good thing.
    And you know how I feel about that cake.Fantastic! I don’t care how many “hits’ it gets, please show us how you did it. That was a masterpiece!
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Briefly …My Profile

    • Awwww, thank you Balvinder! You made my day πŸ™‚ I don’t know if I’m that good, but I’m ok, just need some patience for the cake that’s all. Hope you have a good lunch on Sunday πŸ˜‰

  7. I can only imagine the hours it must have taken to make that cake but it does look amazing. I’m afraid I don’t have the patience or the talent! It’s about time I made proper tandoori chicken and not rely on a spice mix so I’ve set myself a challenge to make it this weekend πŸ™‚
    nancy@jamjnr recently posted..Cauliflower couscous with dukkha labnehMy Profile

    • Believe me Nancy, I do not have the patience. I may have a bit of talent, but I surely don’t have patience and that’s why I just don’t focus on cakes like this. There is big business in this if you choose to do it, it would drive me crazy! We’ve all done the spice mix, I finally put a stop to it! It’s pretty easy.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear that it rained for the entire duration of Laith’s party but like you say, do kids really even notice? We’ve just been away to the ‘Sunshine Coast’ where we didn’t have one ray of sunshine but Alfie didn’t notice at all – he was in the pool regardless. You did such a great job of the cake and I can certainly appreciate the hours that must have gone into this masterpiece. I love the look of your rice! What a great recipe xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Montville, QueenslandMy Profile

    • Thanks Charlie. I know, I’ve been reading your Sunshine Coast posts and it’s unfortunate the sun wasn’t out for you. Alfie enjoyed himself at least. The cake was wonderful, thanks for the recipe! And try the rice, it’s wonderful!

  9. Love all of it…the kebabs, the rice but you know me…most of all the cake:-) The little ones would have had a blast. Happy Belated Birthday to your son. Your site is going to be hit with ‘spiderman’ searches:-) As usual, my mouth is watering at the sight of those kebabs and I showed it to my Mother (who is here at the moment) and asked her to make it. Yummm!
    Sugar et al recently posted..Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline MousseMy Profile

    • Thanks Sonali! I do get some hits for the Marvel v
      Cakes I made and also for the Star Wars cake pops. I just hate doing the tutorial for these, so time consuming!! I have no patience! I hope your mum is having a great time, I know you are with her cooking πŸ™‚

  10. I can’t decide whether I like the kebabs or that lemon rice more. They really look like an amazing combination on a plate! Happy belated birthday to your little one. He was spoiled, I’m sure (and I can tell from that cake alone!). We went on a school trip to Ellis Island yesterday…it rained like crazy but the kids seemed not to notice one bit. πŸ™‚
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    • Thank you, Monica! Kids, they don’t mind at all. They ran around like crazy and then it got cold and they were all shivering because they were wet and cold! The kebabs and this rice is my new fave combo! I hope you try it.

    • Thanks Holly! They were soaking wet and then the temps fell and it got chilly, then they were all siting in the shelter shivering. I had to get them around the grill to warm them up! Kids. The rice is wonderful, hope you try it.

    • You do like exclamation points don’t you ; ? That’s ok, I do too! We’ll have to go and try more chicken kebabs soon. And then I’ll make us some of mine. πŸ™‚

  11. Woa, look at the colours in these photos! I’ve already saved the lemon rice recipe, as I know this will be something we’ll come back to again and again for dinner. The flavours and the colours are just beautiful. And, love the spiderman cake, it kind of makes me wish I was a child again! (Maybe I’ll make it for my husband’s birthday and, ahem, say that I did it for him…..)
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  12. Mark, who NEVER discusses food before noon, said – “Wow, this looks really good!” at 5:30am today. SO guess what we will behaving soon? I am especially excited to try the rice – I need to get some curry leaves soon!
    David recently posted..The Bun Also RisesMy Profile

    • I’m so glad it had Mark talking so early in the morning! The rice is wonderful and it’s one of my favourites. Great use for leftover rice. I hope you like it as much as I do!

  13. I would run around in the rain if I could get a piece of that cake afterwards – your spiderman cake looks wonderful! So superbly made – I sure hope you post the recipe and process!

    Now, about these kebabs – that marinade sounds so aromatic – wow! Love the lemon rice too with its beautiful coloring from the turmeric!
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  14. I am so excited for the world cup. Abdullah keeps asking if he can play in it… lol. This recipe is fantastic. We are going camping Saturday, so I think we’ll cook them Friday and reheat at the campground. I have real issues cooking over a campfire or our little portable grill. Now we have gas I’m spoiled. I love my gas grill!(: Happy bday to Laith and Father’s day to Trace. We are so lucky to have good dads and married to good dads. Alhum.

    • Thanks Mariyam. Hope it’s good weather for you on Saturday for camping. No telling these days. I’ll be in Fort Collins Sat morning, hopefully it doesn’t rain.

  15. Dear Nazneen, I can see from this lovely post that you seem to be feeling a bit better these days – your recipe does look just wonderful, love those kebabs and the colorful lemon rice. Of course, I love everything lemon, so I should really give this recipe a try, really cannot get over all the colors your dish has.The burgundy-colored slaw adds such a nice, bright additional element to this dish. And although I already wrote to you about the birthday cake for your son, I shall do it again: it is amazing, you are one talented lady, dear friend!
    Hope you are taking the best of care of yourself (I hope one can say that),
    Andrea – and, yes, of course we will watch the World Cup on TV – looking forward to some great games
    TheKitchenLioness recently posted..Grissini with herbs & tomato – Grissinis mit Rosmarin, Parmesan & TomatenpΓΌreeMy Profile

    • Thank you, my dearest Andrea! I am getting better by the minute. I am back on my meds and they will take some time and I need physical therapy but I’m able to move better at least. I am taking care of myself πŸ™‚ trying to anyway. Thank you my dear, and good luck to Germany πŸ™‚ They will probably get further than England.

  16. I love that cake, it’s amazing. You’re so clever to have created the spider top like that, really affective. Great grilling recipe and as the weather has decided to give us some sun here, it’ll be perfect for the weekend. I love the look of the lemon rice, it’s great for a side with lots of things. Have a fun weekend. GG
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    • Thanks GG! Thing with being married to a comic book nerd and then having a son who follows in Daddy’s foot steps means I have to be creative! Secretly, I enjoy doing it πŸ˜‰